Wow, it is hard to believe that our year of home assignment is nearly over! We leave on July 28th. God provided amazingly cheap tickets for our return. Also, some friends already found an apartment for us to move into. It turns out we will have extra room for any of you who would like to visit!
In the meantime, we are on our last road trip. We have been reminded of the blessing of each of our supporting churches as we spend time visiting them! We have also been able to connect with many of our individual supporters. Without each one of you, it would not be possible for us to continue our work in Ecuador. Thank you so much!
It looks like Kristi will be teaching 4th grade math and science this year. Alliance is still needing several teachers for this coming school year! Please pray that God will provide!
Scott’s book, Hope Begins, continues to sell—a few copies every month. Another missionary who teaches in Mexico City recently contacted Scott after finding the book online. He wants to use Hope Begins as a text for his upcoming course on Biblical Theology. He has agreed to arrange for translation into Spanish in exchange for permission to print a few copies of the book. Scott will have rights to use the translation for his own ministry too. Pray that God will guide the team of translators to produce a good quality work that can be used to faithfully teach God’s Word.
One of the hardest parts of going back to Ecuador is leaving all 3 of our boys behind. David and Shelby are getting ready to move from Chicago to San Luis Obispo, California the end of July. They are looking forward to living closer to Shelby's parents. Shelby already has a job as a school nurse. Please pray for David as he interviews and decides between several opportunities.
Joel is working on a painting crew in Spokane. He is enjoying his new line of work. Luke is thriving this summer working as a camp counselor in northern Wisconsin.
Lindsey was able to play basketball in a June summer league. She has also been able to enjoy some cousin time and a visit with a friend from Ecuador who now lives in the States.
Pray for us as we finish up and get ready to transition back to Ecuador. Especially pray for Lindsey as she says goodbye to some very good friends. Pray that we can help her process the upcoming transition in a healthy way.
As our days begin to feel more and more like summer, we know
we are on the downhill stretch to head back to Ecuador. We all have some mixed
feelings as we think about going back. We have loved being back in the States
closer to friends and family here. But we also are looking forward to being
back in Quito.
Scott has already received a request by national leaders to
teach a class this fall on the history of Avant’s ministry in Ecuador. He will
need to do some research to be sure he gets the details right, looking into the
stories of missionaries who were there for decades before we were. In some ways
it feels strange to think of teaching Ecuadorians about their own history, but
we realize the current generation is losing their perspective on sacrifices
that were made both by missionaries and by early national Christians. Studying
their roots will help the church further ground themselves in their biblical
6th Grade Classroom
We had several surprises last month. Kristi has been in the
Alliance Academy 6th grade classroom for the past 7 years. She
received word that the class moving up will be losing several students and only
has around 25 students for next year. The school administration is left with a
hard decision concerning whether we can continue with 2 teachers in 6th
grade for next year. Pray that some new students will enroll or for wisdom if
that doesn’t happen.
Caring for Mom
Another surprise was Kristi’s mom falling and breaking her
arm just below the shoulder as well as several bones around her eye. They were
unable to cast the arm since the break was so high, so she began by using a
sling. After 2 weeks the x-ray showed it was not healing correctly, so they did
surgery last week putting 3 pins into her arm. Thankfully the pain is
improving. Please pray for her as she continues to heal.
We had a 2-week trip planned to the Chicago, Indiana,
Michigan area. Since we have been living with Kristi’s mom, we made some
adjustments and cut it down to one week. Thanks to Kristi’s two sisters for
helping mom out during this time.
The highlight of May was having Luke home from college for 3
weeks. But just as we had grown accustomed to having him back with us, it was
time for him to leave for HoneyRock Camp in Northern Wisconsin. We had to say
goodbye to him till he visits us over Christmas break. Please pray for Luke
during his summer as counselor at camp.
Lindsey graduated from 8th grade the middle of
May. It was a fun way to celebrate her year of school in the States this year.
She is excited to get to play basketball several times a week during the month
of June and spend time with her friends. Please continue to pray for her
transition back to Ecuador next month.
We still have some traveling to do and will be speaking in 6
churches before we travel back. Please pray for safety as we travel and that we
will encourage others towards missions.
Mennonite Nappanee, Indiana
June 19—St. Luke Newton, Kansas
Hill Langford, South Dakota
June 30—Holcomb Holdrege, Nebraska
"Friends are the family you choose." Jess C. Scott
We have been enjoying the opportunity to connect with so
many of our friends while we are back in the US this year. Sometimes we are
back for such a short time that we greet one friend and then rush off to see
the next. It has been good to be a little more relaxed about it this time
around. It’s hard to see everybody, even in a year. Our next couple of months
will be especially focused on traveling to see friends that are further away. If
it doesn’t work to get together before we head back to Ecuador in July, just
know that we appreciate each one of you, and we’re thankful for your part in
Lindsey was apprehensive about coming to live in the States
for a year. She knew it meant adjusting to a new school and finding new
friends. We are thankful, however, that she has had an excellent experience.
She loves her school and has wonderful friends! She has had wonderful
opportunities to grow in sports and music as well. In fact, it’s gone so well,
she’s currently feeling turmoil about going back. Please pray for her to
process another difficult transition.
Luke has had a great freshman year at John Brown University.
He feels confirmed in his study of Outdoor Leadership and is thriving at
college life. In May he will be doing some odd jobs to earn money. Then he will
be working as camp counselor at HoneyRock Camp in Wisconsin. Next school year
he will be RA in the dorm.
We don’t normally compare ourselves to great missionaries,
but here’s a surprising connection. The apostle Paul did manual labor to cover
some of the expenses of his mission (2 Thessalonians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 9:12;
Acts 18:1-3; 20:33-35; Philippians 4:14-16.) I (Scott) have likewise been able
to do some residential painting work to help cover increased expenses for this
year. While Joel was visiting us, I taught him a few tricks of the trade. He
returned to Spokane and began to look for opportunities to do more painting. He
recently started on a crew of painters and is hopeful that he found a job he
will enjoy. We are so pleased to see Joel passionate about following Jesus and
finding his place in life!
David and Shelby spent the month of February serving at Bach
Christian Hospital in Pakistan. Shelby’s nursing skills came in very useful,
and David helped design plans for a new sewer system. They are doing a lot of
reflection on what the future might hold for them. We are so proud of their
passion to touch others’ lives—wherever they are.
In the upcoming weeks we will be spending a lot of time on
the road. Pray for smooth travels. Here is a list of the Sundays we have
scheduled for speaking in churches:
Thank you for being our friends; we are blessed to have a
family so good!
Thank you for praying for Luke and Lindsey to adjust to their new school situations. They are both doing very well. Luke loves John Brown and has decided to major in Outdoor Leadership. He found a small church in a small town about 40 minutes from school with many immigrants. He and a group of friends are hoping to start a youth outreach especially targeted at the immigrant population. Lindsey has also made friends and is enjoying volleyball.
Kristi saw a doctor last week about her shoulder. We weren't very surprised to hear him suggest surgery. On Tuesday she will have a full left shoulder replacement. She will be in a sling and unable to use her arm for 6 weeks followed by physical therapy. Please pray that all goes well and for healing.
Because of Kristi's surgery our travels to visit supporters will be delayed until after the holidays.
One of the highlights of September was spending a week in Kansas City at Avant Ministries' headquarters for our Homecoming Conference. It is especially aimed for retired Avant missionaries as well as current missionaries who are in the States. We were able to reconnect with missionaries we have worked with in the past. We had a wonderful speaker who challenged us, and we received updates from around the world in all of the various fields Avant works in. We were encouraged to see that Avant continues taking the Gospel into unreached countries. We came away feeling encouraged and well cared for by our mission leaders.
Lindsey has been on the lookout for any leaves changing color and has found the first ones. The cooler fall temperatures remind us of "home" in Quito. We miss our home there, but are deeply enjoying being home here as well!
Quito is sometimes called the land of eternal spring, where the only seasons are wet and dry. We like the weather a lot, but sometimes it's good to pass from one season to the next. As we look back on our summer, our hearts are full of memories and thanks to God for what he has done.
Changes for Luke
Luke graduated from high school and spent the month of July in Kansas with his Grandma and working for a friend who builds houses. He survived the hot weather and began to adjust to living in the states.
In July, the rest of us enjoyed having a team from First Baptist in Newton, Kansas in Quito for 10 days. They sent a team of 10 to work at a Christian orphanage in Quito. We enjoyed our time making some new friends and serving alongside of them.
Scott was able to take Pastor Chip to several small Quichua churches in Quito and they were able to encourage them in their walk with God as they continue reaching out to their communities around them.
The month of July was full of goodbyes and packing up our house as we got ready to head back to the states for a year of home assignment. We landed in Chicago and were able to catch up with David and Shelby for a few days. Pray for them as they are seeking God's direction in an opportunity to serve God overseas.
Lindsey started her 8th grade year at Berean. So far her adjustment has been smooth. She is playing Volleyball. Pray that she will be able to make some new friends quickly.
We recently moved Luke into his dorm at John Brown University. He loved the missionary kid and international student orientation the first 3 days and felt at home with this group of kids from around the world. He also has quite a group of latinos with whom he can keep up his Spanish. Please pray for Luke with all the college adjustments.
We also had Joel here for a week. He attended a missions conference in North Carolina prior to coming here. He is really excited to see how he might fit into overseas missions in the near future. For now he is back in Spokane and working. Please pray for him as seeks God's direction in his life.
Scott and I finally have some time to breathe this week and get caught up on some things. Our van was in an accident, so we need to decide if we will fix it or replace it. We still need to get cell phones. Pray for us as we begin filling in our calendar. We want to see as many of you who support us both with prayers and finances as we possibly can.
I think a recent conversation we had with Luke and Lindsey sums up how we are doing right now. As the days have been a little cooler and there is the hint of fall around the corner, we were talking about how the trees will all change color and the leaves will fall off. Luke and Lindsey don't remember experiencing this before and even Scott and I haven't seen it in 13 years. And the same for winter. So as you begin to see the trees changing colors, remember to pray for us and for all the "different" things we are experiencing, especially for Luke and Lindsey as they are experiencing life in the United States for the first time other than summer vacations.
With shifting responsibilities comes the need for adaptation. We're especially thankful for the variety of gears we've been able to use in these days!
The month of June was a crazy month as we finished off the school year, full of lots of memories as we look back. Thanks for praying for the 6th grade play! It turned out well and we pray that God continues to bring the songs to mind and makes himself real to each of the kids.
I, Kristi, had the privilege of attending the baptism of one of my students and hearing him declare his faith in Jesus. It was a privilege watching him overcome some anxieties this year and how God used him to begin to reach out to his classmates.
Another highlight in the classroom during June was listening to one of my students teach a group of his friends about the book of Revelation. I'm so thankful for God's work in my students this year.
On June 30th Luke graduated from Alliance Academy International. We are so thankful for each of the teachers he has had through the years who poured into his life. Also we want to thank God for all he has done for Luke and his commitment to be a faithful servant of the Lord.
We sent Luke off this past week to stay with his Grandma Della in Newton so he can work a few weeks till he leaves for college. He'll be working outside, so pray that he can adjust to the hot summer temperatures quickly. Also pray for his adjustments to living in the states since this is something new for him.
Here in Ecuador, we are looking forward to the arrival of a team from First Baptist in Newton, Kansas. They are sending a team of 9 to work at a Christian orphanage here in Quito. Scott will also be taking them to several small Quichua churches in Quito. Pray that these churches can be encouraged in their walk with God and to continue reaching out to their communities around them.
Also, continue to pray for us as we finish up our time in Quito this month and head back to the states for a year of home assignment. We plan on living in Newton, Kansas for the year. We want to see as many of you as possible who support us both with prayers and finances. We still have a lot to do before we travel, so please pray for strength as we finish up.
Sometimes it's hard to be disciplined about sending out these prayer updates. We need to remind ourselves it's worth pausing normal life long enough to inform you so you can pray more specifically for us. We know it's worth the effort. It occurs to me that it's probably much the same on your end. We are grateful that many of you are also in the habit of pausing long enough to bring our requests to the Lord. Here's an update to help you do it well.
Another Month of School
Today is a vacation day celebrating the Battle of Pichincha. I (Kristi) am thankful for a day at home before we go for the final stretch of 5 more weeks of school. It is rather hard when most of our US friends on Facebook are posting that they are already done with school. The next 2 weeks are going to be busy getting ready for our annual 6th grade musical. This year we will be presenting “I AM”. We live in a technological age, but the same God who Spoke to Moses from a burning bush still wants to communicate to us today. In our story, they are trying to create an App just for learning about God and seeking God in our real lives in order to be changed. This musical will be presented 4 times. Please pray for long practices, and that the hearts of the 6th graders really will be challenged to know God in their real lives as we sing these words over and over.
Changes for Luke
Luke is in his final weeks of his senior year. His class just returned home last night from their senior trip. They spent 5 days at the beach. He will be attending John Brown University in Arkansas this coming year. He has a lot of ideas of what he might like to do but hasn’t decided on a major yet. Luke arrived in Ecuador as a 2-year-old, so this really is home for him. Pray for him as there are many new adjustments ahead for him.
As a family, we are looking ahead to spending the next year in the United States beginning in August. We have spent much of our extra time this past year sorting and getting rid of many things, as we will be putting all our belongings into storage for the year. We are looking forward to having more time to reconnect with each of you.
I (Scott) have recently had some great opportunities for mentoring and discipleship. A class I taught for a few weeks in Cajabamba on theology was for a pretty small group of students. Sometimes in cases like this I wonder if the effort is worth it; but through a series of events I was able to connect one of my students with a pastor here in Quito who is looking for more Bible training. Now Antonio and Juan have renewed a friendship that was dormant for years, and I think the Lord might use Antonio to meet some needs in Juan's life. Juan is also beginning a program of study online with Dallas Theological Seminary in Spanish. It's been a thrill to help him learn how to use a computer to access his class. This will be a big challenge for him (academics, discipline, computer skills, and finances); pray that he will be able to meet it. Pray that the Lord will use his studies for growth in his life and ministry.
Thank you for pausing long enough to read our update! Would you also be willing to lift us before the Lord in prayer?